Nine people were killed and dozens were hurt when a suspect wearing body armor opened fire outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio early Sunday before responding officers shot the armed assailant to death less than a minute into the rampage, according to officials.
It was the nation’s second mass shooting in less than 24 hours, after 20 people were slain in El Paso, Texas.
The Dayton Police Department said on Twitter the incident unfolded at 1 a.m. in the city’s Oregon District near downtown, but officers were nearby and “were able to respond and put an end to it quickly.”
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Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said at a Sunday morning news conference the shooter was wearing body armor and had extra magazines. The Oregon District is was filled with “thousands” of people out on a weekend night at the time, according to Whaley. Officers were also stationed in the neighborhood and were able to halt the rampage less than a minute after it began, according to the mayor.
“If Dayton police had not gotten to the scene in under a minute, hundreds of people in the Oregon District could be dead today,” Whaley told reporters.
Lt. Col. Matt Carper said at the suspect was shot to death by responding officers.
“This is extremely unusual, obviously, for any community, let alone Dayton,” Carper told reporters. “In our Oregon District, this is unheard of.”
The Oregon District is a historic neighborhood that Carper described as “a safe part of downtown,” home to entertainment options, including bars, restaurants and theaters. The shooting took place outside, on the 400-block of East 5th Street
Witnesses said they saw an unspecified number of “walking wounded” in the area, according to local media reports.
At least 16 others were taken to local hospitals with injuries, according to police. Kettering Health Network spokesperson Elizabeth Long told Fox News the health network received 13 patients at four of their hospitals.
One of their hospitals received 9 patients with gunshot sounds, seven that arrived by ambulance and two who walked in. Two were in surgery, with one listed in critical condition.
Long told Fox News that most of the gunshot wounds were lower extremities, while one person had a gunshot wound to the lower abdomen. Long told Fox News she expected the number of patients to rise, and that people will realize they need to be seen “once the shock wears off.”
One newspaper reporter told a local radio station that abandoned shoes were seen in the area of the shooting — left behind as panicking people fled.
Neither the shooter nor the victims were immediately identified. The FBI is assisting with the investigation, Dayton police said.
A family assistance center was set up at the Dayton Convention Center.
“I’m heartbroken,” Whaley tweeted around 6 a.m. Sunday. “Thank you to our first responders for all that you’ve done.”
Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said he was “absolutely heartbroken” over the Dayton shooting.
“I commend Dayton Police and other first responders for their bravery and quick response to save lives and bring an end to this tragedy,” the governor said.
DeWine said he spoke with Dayton’s mayor and offered any assistance on behalf of the state.
“I have been briefed by the Ohio Department of Public Safety, and the Ohio State Highway Patrol has offered assistance to local law enforcement as they investigate this heinous act,” DeWine said, in part. “I have ordered that flags in Ohio remain at half-mast in honor and memory of the victims who lost their lives this morning.”
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The shooting reportedly took place near Ned Peppers Bar in the city’s Oregon District. But Dayton police were checking other bars in the area for the possibility of additional shooting victims. All of the gunfire happened outside the bar with the suspect using a “long gun,” Carper said, according to WTVN radio of Columbus.
“We’re trying to identify the motivation behind this,” Carper told the station.
Ned Peppers Bar posted a message on Instagram, saying: “All of our staff is safe and our hearts go out to everyone involved as we gather information.”
With a population of around 140,000 Dayton is in western Ohio, around 55 miles northeast of Cincinnati, 75 miles west of Columbus and 120 miles east of Indianapolis.
Fox News’ Lauren Blanchard and The Associated Press contributed to this report.